Based on class readings, experience with social media and interest in digital storytelling, I have a good understanding of the social media demographics and motivations of my audience. The demographics of a digital storytelling blog are interesting and have a slight spilt. There are two groups that really share an interest in digital storytelling — high school and college students and academics. There is also a third emerging audience for digital storytelling and that is PR and marketing professionals. I know less about this audience, as it is less popular. The list below explains these groups more specifically and notes their motivations.
High School and College Students:
- Demographics: Between the ages of 15 – 28. Predominantly white, African American or Hispanic. Most have, will have, or are pursuing a college degree. According to Pew, there are equal numbers of this age group in urban, rural and suburban. From my own research and Pew data, there may be a slight difference in numbers for the rural students, which could be due to a digital divide issue.
- Motivations: High school and college students are only lightly motivated to have an active interest in digital storytelling. These users are more passive because digital storytelling — whether they realize it or not — is a part of their daily life. These users are constantly online and bombarded with media images and videos. According to Pew, 97% of 18-29 year olds are online and about 90% use social media. Social media is a popular place for digital stories to appear, especially on YouTube. This part of my audience is more difficult to motivate to follow a blog, so a better strategy for this group is to seek students who are already familiars with the concept of digital storytelling, possibly through a class or workshop.
- Demographics: Age is difficult to pinpoint, but it is likely to be younger academics. These academics are from all over the country, although here again there are more likely less rural academics who are invested in this topic. For example, urban and suburban schools are already much more active in digital storytelling over rural schools. For example, the University of Southern California has a digital storytelling academy with backing and funding from different departments.
- Motivations: Academics are obviously motivated to pursue digital storytelling because the topic originally emerged as an academic field. Numerous colleges have courses or events related to digital storytelling. In addition, it is becoming more important for professors to understand and to be able to use media, especially in fields related to the arts. Again, because digital storytelling is so immersed in society, academics have become motivated to understand digital storytelling in order to be able to teach the idea.